All About Spike

Risen From the Ashes
By Lar

Rating: NC-17
'Ship: S/X
Summary: Xander's having nightmares.
Improv #3: ash, feather, infinite, perceive
Author's Notes: Set in S4. Refers heavily to my "Bruised" series. Still makes some sense if you use your imagination.
Dedication: For ethrosdemon, because she's my Beta Diva and she was lookin' for a little S/X action.

It was like waking up in the middle of one of those dreams that you're not entirely sure of. One minute Xander is kind of enjoying lying in his dream bed and listening to Dream Spike ramble on and on about things way back when he was still a bad ass, and the next he realizes with a jolt that the dream...isn't.

He knows it's real because suddenly he's aware of the smell. It's too familiar to mistake - leather and smoke and something not quite identifiable as anything other than simply "vampire." And in dreams, Xander never smells him, the other, although he wishes sometimes to recapture that part of the past, too, along with the other things, the darker things like pain and pleasure and the need to have both.

And to reassure himself that he is indeed awake, he pinches his thigh, hard enough to leave a reddening welt that he knows will become a bruise. That, too, sends a nice little zing of mental pain to match the physical one on his leg.

Spike notices, of course. His eyebrow, the one with the scar, goes up about an inch and he stops right in the middle of whatever he was saying to take a long look at the mark on Xander's leg. He's reclining on the bed next to him, jeans and T-shirt on, boots amazingly off, and that's just one more surreal detail for Xander to take in.

"I knew about you two, " Spike says, very quietly, not looking at his face but instead at his thighs, and Xander knows he's looking for the scars. The bite marks obligingly begin to tingle; it's a real effort not to touch them, and how long has it been since he even wanted to? Since he even thought about it?

Resolutely putting his hands behind his head and staring at the ceiling with forced calm, Xander says in the most level tone he can summon, "I don't know what you're talking about, and get the fuck off my bed."

"No need to get nasty, pet. I'm talking about Angelus. You and Angelus, specifically. And the way your scent was all over him for those few months. I could smell him coming back to the mansion when he was a block away, just covered with it."

And hey, here comes the sweating part, because no one was ever supposed to know. No one. Ever. Spike was never really a consideration before. First he was gone and then he was chipped and now he's part of the fucking *gang* and he knows, he knows, he god damn well *knows.* Xander's mind runs frantically along, rabbit rabbit rabbit, and he can't even think of how to start the denial. Spike saves him the trouble.

"I can smell you now, too. You're afraid." Xander whips his head over to catch the smirk he knows is going to be there to find that it's missing entirely. Instead there's this look of intense darkness in Spike's eyes. Something between the usual day to day rage that they'd all gotten used to seeing and was that pity in there? Oh that's just about all he needs, really, to have Spike feeling sorry for him.

"Fuck you, Spike. There's nothing here in this basement for me to be afraid of, and that applies especially to you. Not so very long ago you were trying to dust yourself on my coffee table, so I feel pretty secure in telling you *again* to get out of my bed and back to your chair." His hands are clenched behind his head to hide the shake while he delivers this speech, but Xander also knows from long experience that you can't bluff a vampire. He's not surprised when Spike doesn't move, when he just quirks the eyebrow at him as if to say that he's not buying any of it. So Xander turns his head back up to stare at the dirty ceiling tiles and sighs deeply.

"Don't you wanna know *why* I'm here in the first place?" Casual question but loaded with so much possibility for annihilation. Xander considers several options, such as ignoring him in the hopes that he'll shut up and go away, but all of them after that seem even less likely to happen.

"OK, why are you here in my bed at - " Pause to check the time on the bedside clock. "Three thirty in the morning when obviously you should be off doing other things. Like finding your own place to stay."

"You were dreaming about him. Again. Not a nice one either, I'll wager. Of course that's just me judging by the screaming and the crying." Spike leans over closer, right into Xander's face. "I've had a few Angelus inspired nightmares myself."

Seeing that face right in his is less upsetting than the overwhelming waft of scent Spike brings with him: smoke and ash, animal blood, His words settle over Xander's face like feathers from a phoenix, hot little brushes of invisible pain. And Xander knows that he's flushed from head to toe with embarrassment and guilt at the nocturnal tears, the nightly cries of loss and need. Things he thought only he was privy to in his own sick little mind have obviously been common Spike knowledge for as long as he's been sleeping here. Longer, though, because he knew all along, and that's just perfect, that's just the way Xander's life tends to run. Bad to worse, friends and neighbors, and let's all see just how awful we can get.

"So you joined me in the bed because I had a nightmare. Is that what you're telling me? You're not just chipped to prevent violence, but you come with the whole nurturing package added on at no extra charge? What a bargain." It's hard to be too forceful with those eyes staring down into his but Xander gives it his best shot. Gets rewarded with the tiniest flinch that's gone in less than the time it takes to register.

"Nurturing isn't really what you're after, boy." The voice is gentle but there's no way to mistake the anger in it. With a quick motion that makes him blink back a flickering perception of deja-vu, Xander finds himself under a full body press, Spike's hands pinning his elbows to the mattress and his hips pressing in to make note of a shared hardness that Xander hadn't really been aware of until now.

"You really are quite pretty, pet. Angelus did love pretty things." Spike's voice is coming from the vicinity of his ear now, and Xander hasn't moved a muscle. He isn't sure whether it's his training at the hands of Angelus that keeps him there or the way the other man's body feels against his. "And you smell the same, even now."

That makes Xander groan, a small one, but enough for Spike to bring his face back from the warmth of his neck and press his forehead down to Xander's for seconds that seem to spin out of control. The hands that are holding him down clench just a bit, pressing into smooth skin and firm muscle. And then there's a mouth on Xander's, cool lips sliding over his in the lightest of touches; a taste, a sample, a hint of what could be.

Both are shocked at how easy it is to sink into this kiss; one falling into something he'd never imagined happening outside of a few random fantasies, the other grasping at the thing he'd thought lost for all time. The kiss seems to go on and on, moving with exquisite slowness from brushed lips to slipping tongues. Xander's head is swimming with the sensations both new and dimly remembered. The coolness of lips and tongue is achingly familiar but the feel of the mouth is different, shape and flavor uniquely Spike. The feeling of melting beneath the assault on his body is coming back to him rapidly, and Xander wonders wildly if all vampires can work this mojo or if it's just his luck to find two of them who make him go mindless with lust.

Eventually Spike breaks off the kisses, and Xander gulps in air he didn't even know he needed until then. His chest is heaving and his mind is in a thousand pieces, and none of them knows what it wants beyond the next five minutes. He tries to reach for Spike, but his arms are stilled pinned down and the aborted movement does nothing to dislodge the blond. Instead Spike insinuates one leg between Xander's and gains enough traction to slide his lean body up the length of the boy under him. The rough material of his jeans scrapes over the wet cotton of Xander's boxers, the swollen heat of him beneath, and causes him to jerk and groan loudly.

"That's it, love," whispers Spike, mouth on Xander's ear, encouraging him with a flick of his tongue and a thrust of his hips. He growls helplessly as the boy bucks and writhes, and then comes with a shuddering cry, heat flooding between them as it soaks into jeans and t shirts and boxers and flesh. The scent of it hits Spike like a hammer and he gets his knee planted in the mattress and pushes himself down hard, harder, bordering on pain for them both. He presses his face against Xander's, lips parted and seeking. He releases his hold on the boy's arms in order to grab fistfuls of dark hair as he plunders the willing mouth. He feels Xander's hands come up then, too, one around the back of his head, settling on his neck, and the other on the small of his back, pressing lightly. That's all it takes, willing embrace, and Spike is coming, too. His back arches and he groans into the boy's mouth and then collapses heavily onto the wet warmth of Xander's body.

Minutes tick by and neither of them moves. Xander thinks absently of Angelus and the obsession that hadn't really ended, had only been packed away with other things that no one needed to know about. //No bites this time// floats by and he stuffs in back down. He's got quite enough body adornment from his past weaknesses and there's no need to add to it.

"So," he says suddenly. Stops. Fumbles for what to follow up his brilliant opening remarks with and comes up with this stunning quip: "Now what?"

Spike's voice is muffled from his face being down in the crook of Xander's neck again, but Xander can make out, "That's up to you, isn't it?" He rolls off slowly and props his head in his hand. "Have to admit, it's more interesting living here than I thought it would be."

It's odd, having a non-hostile conversation with Spike. Stranger still having it post coital. Xander's only sure of one thing right now; he needs a shower. And he thinks he won't make it through that event alone, either.


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